Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:36 am on 12th November 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 10:36 am, 12th November 2020

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his considered question. He is absolutely right to raise the issue of academic interference. UK universities are international at their core, and we warmly welcome overseas students, including from China, and the valuable contribution that they make, but we will not tolerate any attempt to interfere with academic freedom, or freedom of speech. As I have said before in the House, if any universities experience any attempts to undermine free debate, we encourage them to get in touch with the Government.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned data infrastructure. The long-term security and enduring resilience of our telecoms network are incredibly important, and we are taking difficult decisions to protect those interests. The position in January on high-risk vendors was based on the need to balance security with the need for us to level up and be a world leader in our digital infrastructure. I hope that answers the hon. Gentleman’s point, but I am more than happy to have a direct meeting with him when he returns to London, as I have said to the Lib Dem and Labour spokespeople, the hon. Members for Oxford West and Abingdon (Layla Moran) and for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock).